Right-wing “wagon” conspiracy theory goes bust in Michigan vote count
A local TV photographer was wheeling in equipment for his work shift covering the vote count. Right-wing conspiracy theorists accused him of transporting in ballots.
Right-wing media were spinning yet another story of supposed voter fraud in Michigan Wednesday night, based on a video of a man carting in items late at night into the TCF Center where mail-in votes are being counted for Detroit.
The convention center is also the same location where Trump supporters gathered Wednesday, chanting for the vote counting to be stopped, and police had to be called in to guard the doors and maintain order.
The video was posted by the conservative site Texas Scorecard and was taken by Kelly SoRelle, described in the post as “a Texas lawyer and member of Lawyers for Trump.” The post had a headline “VIDEO: Wagons, Suitcases, and Coolers Roll Into Detroit Voting Center at 4 AM.”
“SoRelle is raising alarms that the box may have been a ballot box that arrived long after all ballots were expected to have been received at the counting facility,” the post said, along with a further note of warning: “Other images appear to show suitcases and coolers moving in and out of the secure area where mail-in ballots were being counted during a shift change at 4 a.m.”
In fact, as reporter Ross Jones at the local ABC affiliate tweeted, the man in that video is a cameraman, rolling in some work equipment on that wagon.
WXYZ, the local TV station where the photographer works, also posted an article online, giving some extra information: “The commentators in the video talk about the wagon, and our photographer said he needed a wagon because the shots were downstairs at TCF Center. He found the wagon in his shed.”
Another reporter at the station even posted a photo that showed the contents of that little wagon:
Fox Business host Lou Dobbs also promoted this false story, tweeting a link to a Gateway Pundit post.
Right-wing YouTube host Steven Crowder showed the video on his livestream Wednesday, and also tweeted a clip from his livestream during which he and his crew showed the video. “All these ballots for Santa Claus,” Crowder exclaimed in a melodramatic voice, as a mocking reference to Miracle on 34th Street.
At the time of writing, the tweet does not contain any notice from Twitter about being potential election misinformation despite having over a million views. The livestream on YouTube also had nearly 4.5 million views.
Crowder’s tweet was also shared by Jack Posobiec, a conspiracy theorist with the pro-Trump outlet One America News Network, and who also has ties to white supremacists.
Crowder then interviewed SoRelle for 19 minutes. Although SoRelle said she could not say for sure what was in the wagon the man was carting, she and Crowder’s team accused the local officials of trying to hide something.
The interview concluded with Crowder asking SoRelle if she knew about supposed election shenanigans going on in Arizona. According to this tale, voters in Trump-supporting areas were given Sharpies to mark their ballots because the machines would not be able to read them. This narrative isn’t true, either, as reported by the Arizona Republic: Not only do the machines read Sharpies just fine, but the ink dries quicker and prevents smudging as the ballots are fed into the scanners.